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February 26, 2020

Philharmonic Orchestra musicians ask the dismissal of the managers

As soon as the George Enescu International Festival ended, the conflict within the Philharmonic burst out.

The members of “George Enescu” Philharmonic Orchestra started a protest, on Monday morning, requesting the dismissal of the managers of the institution – the general director Cristian Mandeal, the artistic director Nicolae Licaret, the concertmaster Anda Petrovici.The protest started on Monday morning at 10.00 h., when the first rehearsal for the new season was scheduled. The members of the orchestra came to the rehearsal dressed in T-shirts with the inscription “I am <> Philharmonic.”

The members of the orchestra are carrying discussions with the leadership of the Philharmonic, with the participation of Theodor Paleologu, minister of culture. According to sources from the Philharmonic, Cristian Mandeal has submitted his resignation as of Thursday, September 24, but it was not accepted by the minister of culture.

The same sources told Mediafax that their protest was determined by reasons such as the fall by 20-57 per cent of their salary, in the past ten years, the incorrect writings in the labour records of the employees. The members of the orchestra also accuse Mandeal of management “by correspondence,” travelling very frequently for his own interest, Nicolae Licaret assuming in his absence the position of general director. The members of the orchestra also say that “Anda Petrovici’s professionalism does not match her position of concertmaster of a modern symphonic orchestra which meets the European quality standards.”

The conflict started after the orchestra played without the concertmaster Anda Petrovici at the concert given on September 19 by Angela Gheorghiu, as part of Bucharest Days. According to the musicians, during the rehearsal, the concertmaster exerted pressures on the conductor determining him to leave the stage. The musicians “had a very firm option,” to play in Angela Gheorghiu’s concert without Anda Petrovici. The concert had to take place with the participation of the Philharmonic, at the insistence of the organizers (Bucharest City Hall), and Angela Gheorghiu refused the proposal made by the management of the Philharmonic to collaborate with another conductor.

The artistic director of the Philharmonic, Nicolae Licaret, has allegedly banned the 90 musicians to appear under the title of “George Enescu Philharmonic” at the concert, wherefrom the chief of the orchestra was missing, and therefore they were introduced as the “Orchestra of Bucharest Philharmonic”. The general director of the Philharmonic, Cristian Mandeal explained that the musicians signed individual contracts for the concert given by Angela Gheorghiu.

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